Study of 600,000 Trees Shows Climate Change Has Increased Growth Rate By 70% Compared To Half A Century Ago

by on September 23, 2014
Measurements by scientists at the Munich University of Technology have revealed tree growth rates have rapidly increased by 70 percent compared to 50 years ago.  The scientists conducted their study on experimental forest plots which are well-controlled, and compared their data to historical data taken continuously since 1870.  These forests are among the oldest study […]

Perceived Thoughtfulness Has A Positive Impact On Influence, Likeability But Overthinking Has Opposite Effect

by on September 22, 2014
The amount of time and thought a person confers to making a decision has a strong effect on our perception of that person, researchers from Harvard Business School have discovered.  A positive perception arises from watching a decision-maker use the most “appropriate” level of thought for the given decision, where “appropriate” simply means commensurate with […]


The Story Of How A Scientist Got A Hair Loss Disease, Studied And Cured It

by on September 21, 2014
Scientists and physicians at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have recently successfully tested a drug, already approved by the FDA for other conditions, in halting and reversing hair loss in people with the autoimmune disease known as alopecia areata.  Remarkably, although only three participants were part of the study, all three experienced total hair growth […]
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A 15 Centimeter Hagfish Nano-thread With Near Gigapascal Tensile Strength Is Wound Up In A Single Cell

by on September 20, 2014
In self-defense the hagfish produces from its glands a slime that is composed of nanometer width threads and what is likely sugar or glyco-modifications.  The slime is thought to impede capture by making the hagfish slippery, and possibly by clogging the gills of a predator.  The nanothreads are remarkable: comparable to spider silk in tensile […]

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Structured Oil: A Novel Soft Solid That Is 97% Liquid By Weight

by on September 19, 2014
A team led by Dr. Ashok Patel at the University of Ghent comprising biochemists from his home university and the University of Antwerp in Belgium, has achieved physical trapping of a hydrophobic liquid oil in a structure of water-soluble biopolymer, via a water-oil emulsion.  The water was removed, resulting in a soft solid 97% oil […]

Largest Creature That Survives Extreme Dessication, Sleeping Chironomid, Is Protected By Multiple-Copy Molecular Shields

by on September 18, 2014
Anhydrobiosis is the condition in which an organism adapts to extreme water loss or dessication by entering an inactive, hibernating state and exiting into an active state upon rehydration.  Scientists from the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS) in Tsukuba, Japan, used deep sequencing to identify genes and quantitate expressed genes (mRNA) to reveal how […]


Synthetic Dithiol Amino Acid: A New General Drug Design Tool To Increase Target Binding Potency

by on September 17, 2014
A new, unusual synthetic amino acid has been created inside a Swiss lab that has been proven to increase the potency of two peptide investigational drugs.  The work was carried out by researchers at the Laboratory of Therapeutic Proteins and Peptides at Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne in Switzerland.   The novel “di-thiol” amino acid (abbreviated […]

Epstein-Barr Virus Cut Out Of Infected Human Cells By CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing

by on September 16, 2014
Researchers at Stanford exploited the newly developed precision gene editing technology known CRISPR-Cas9 into an anti-virus technology by cutting out Epstein-Barr virus from the host genome of infected cells.  Infected cells successfully treated this way scale back proliferation caused by viral programs and engage in a self-destruct program known as “apoptosis”, or controlled cell death.  […]

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An Autonomous, Optoelectronic Camouflage Material Inspired By Octopus Skin

by on September 15, 2014
An interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers has developed a thin, flexible 4-layer material that autonomously camouflages itself to the surroundings by optically evaluating the background and changing its pattern to match much like how the skin of an octopus or chameleon does so in the wild.  The system mimics different patterns of background quickly […]

TLR5: A Novel Therapeutic Target And Possible Master Regulator Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

by on September 14, 2014
Professor Shiva Shahrara and her research team at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine has discovered a new player involved in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) called TLR5. The name stands for “toll-like receptor 5”, and is found on myeloid cells which migrate from the blood into joints where the disease takes place. The […]